Greenspan criticizes Bush policies in memoir

Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:46pm EDT
 
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By Mark Felsenthal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan sharply criticizes President George W. Bush's administration and Republican congressional leaders in his memoir for putting political imperatives ahead of sound economic policies, several newspapers reported on Friday.

"Little value was placed on rigorous economic policy debate or the weighing of long-term consequences," Greenspan writes of the Bush administration.

Accounts of Greenspan's book, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World," which is due to be published Monday, appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today.

Greenspan said he unsuccessfully urged the White House to veto "out-of-control" spending bills while the Republicans controlled Congress.

Republicans "deserved" to lose control of Congress in last year's election because in their willingness to approve spending measures that would benefit Republicans even at the cost of fiscal prudence, they "swapped principle for power," he said.

Greenspan's congressional testimony in favour of tax cuts during the early part of the Bush administration has been criticized by some for giving the green light to Congress to approve the president's fiscal policies.

However, the former Fed chief has subsequently said Congress ignored his recommendations that it accompany any substantial tax cuts with safeguards to protect against future deficits. In his book, he acknowledges that people who warned him that his words would be used selectively were right.

"The tax-cut testimony proved to be politically explosive," he writes.  Continued...

 
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